Does Your City Have Ambitions?

4060014192_d62dd55deb.jpgCities are launching pads for all sorts of human aspirations. (Photo: Gold41 via Flickr)

Yesterday, at The Urbanophile, Aaron Renn posted a thoughtful essay about the idea of the "city as platform." He looks at all the different meanings of the word platform and muses about how they apply in the urban context.

To me, the most intriguing idea in Renn’s post is the vision of "the city as a manifesto":

The political platform version wasn’t something that originally came to my mind when thinking of this, but it too has applicability. What is your city all “about”? What does it stand for? What is its ambition?…

Think about the great cities of America, and they all seem to have something of a point of view on the world and what it should be like, even if it isn’t totally clear. Especially for those cities where the civic ambition and POV is murky, a process of reflection on this is clearly warranted. Going back to the notion of a stage, since not everyplace can be New York or London, the question might be how you can create a premier stage or environment in which to attract notice for a focused set of activities or ambitions.

What about it, folks? What are the ambitions of your city, if you live in one? How could they be different? Does your city need to aim higher? Let us know in the comments.

More from around the network: EcoVelo, home of some of the most beautiful bicycle pictures on the Internet, shares some photographic tips. Biking in Dallas wonders about the possibility of a Ciclovía in that Texas city. And FABB Blog has the scoop on a car-free challenge from The Bike Lane.